After NE10’s, cross country prepares for regionals

Sam Tapper Sports Writer

Despite displaying team success and consistency throughout the regular season, the Owls’ men’s and women’s cross-country teams fell short of their goals of winning an NE10 championship. Despite the result, their spirits remain high as they prepare for NCAA regionals.

On the men’s side, the Owls’ season started out strong as they finished first out of 12 in the Adelphi Panther Invitational to open the year. After that meet though they would not come in first again — they never finished below second as a team in the regular season.

For the women’s team, though they did not place
quite as high as the men in some meets, their best performance came late in the season, where they placed second out of seven, and Southern sophomore Emilie Noreika finished third with a time of 19:39.3.

“We were pretty consistent this year, we were pretty happy with that,” said assistant crosscountry/track and field coach Brian Nill. “Opened up the Adelphi meet with a pretty strong and easy win, went out to Pennsylvania for the [Division II] and we were second, which we were really happy with.”

Once it came time for the NE10 championships, there was optimism among the Owls as it was their goal to take home the trophy. Though that did not happen as the men finished third and the women seventh, they still saw strong performances from men’s captain Connor Shannahan finishing fifth and Norieka finishing ninth, both the highest finishers on their side.

“We had a rough day at the conference meet,” Nill said. “We had a couple of dings and dents, our front three raced great, but it wasn’t really the outcome we were looking for; it kind of stung, we were hoping to be no worse than second, but we’ve just got to bounce back and keep the heads high going into the postseason.”

Another notable finisher for the men included junior Terrell Patterson, who finished 27th with a time of 28:30.0 and has been one of the Owls’ top runners this year, being named the NE10 Athlete of the Week
earlier in the season.

“In NE10s, we came out with third, which is okay,” said Patterson. “It’s not the outcome we were looking for. Obviously, every time we go out there we’re looking to win, that’s always the goal but there’s always good things to take away from every weekend, a lot of the guys stepped up when they needed too, a lot of people were really tough and the big goal is the regional meet.”

Other notable finishers for the women included senior and captain Meghan Delaney, who finished in 13th place with a time of 24:59.4, and freshman Emily Moran, who in her NE10 debut finished 52nd with a time of 26:29.8.

“I could definitely see myself just growing a lot,” said Delaney, who
prior to this year, had not done cross country since middle school. “I think that I grew a lot and I’m really excited for the track season coming up, and for the team, I could definitely see the sophomores saw improvement from last year.”

Now that the conference championship is in the past, the Owls will begin preparing for the NCAA East Regional Championship. For that, they will travel to Philadelphia, Pa. to compete on Saturday Nov. 9.

“If we can make the [NCAA Championship] we’ll be very happy,” said Nill. “We’ll be a little dinged up going in, but basically we’re just trying to move up a couple of spots from last year.”

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